Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Confidence in the Coming Rapture - by Pastor Mike Taylor - http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2017/06/confidence-in-coming-rapture.html
8 "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." (2nd Corinthians 5:8-11)
Wondering about the end times and the rapture can cause confusion, worry and fear for a lot of people, even Christians! For ages people have tried to figure out the exact time that the prophecy of Jesus return will happen. The best place to turn for answers about the rapture is Scripture! God tells us everything we need to know in the Bible. There are some things that God has left a mystery for us, but has given us enough information in His Word that we should have complete confidence and hope in the Hope of our Salvation. The above verses speak of a time when those who are found in Jesus Christ will stand before Him and receive what has been done in our body, either for Him, or for ourselves.
WORK TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED
As a Christian believer in Christ our Lord, our service is to be about our Father's business. Jesus gave us commands to follow and rewards will be coming for a job well done. I don't know about you, but I long to hear the words come from my Lord Jesus "well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord" This from what I can gather from scripture happens to each of us who are found with the robe of righteousness that only comes from accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That robe is not our righteousness, but we are clothed with His righteousness, and our ABBA Father only sees the glory of His Son found in us when we finally stand before Him.
Some question the timing of the return of our Lord Jesus and have all kinds of theories, being Pre-Trib, Pre-wrath, Post-Trib, or in the extreme no rapture at all, as Jesus will come to us and we, by our own endeavors create a utopia and we deliver the Church to Jesus when He returns. But what does the Bible say? Which belief is the truth? As I said, all the answers to this question are found in the pages of your Bible.
What I find among many believers, or even unbelievers, is a misunderstanding of what scripture is saying. The Bible has the concept of the removal of the Church BEFORE the coming tribulation all over its pages and a wise person in these last days, mines them out like precious jewels, or as a discovery of a vein of gold in the earth.. Let us take a journey down the verses that speak of this time of the "Harpazo" the snatching away of the Church of the Living God in what is popularly called "the Rapture" .
LET'S START IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WITH ISAIAH
17" Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." (Isaiah 26:17-21)
For the believer in the pre-tribulation removal of the Church, this is where I like to start, as the prophet Isaiah saw the removal of God's people, both the living and the resurrected departed from their graves. Isaiah speaks of the dead rising to new life, even as dew on the herbs and the earth, its graves, casting out her dead in resurrection. The prophet sees judgment coming upon the earth and tells God's people to enter into their chambers and shut their doors to hide them from the wrath of Almighty God. God will punish the "earth dwellers" for their unrighteous acts and evil they have done in rebellion to His authority over all creation. And Jesus will stain His robes with their blood, as we see in Revelation chp. 19 when our Lord returns with the armies of heaven. It is not His blood, but the blood of those He has trodden down in righteous wrath. One wonders what chambers is God telling Isaiah that the people of God will enter into. Then I remember what Jesus said to His disciples, even saying it to us.
14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." (John 14:1-4)
For nearly 2000 years, our Lord God has been preparing a glorious mansion for each of His brethren, and God the Father's children. Jesus calls them mansions, and I can't imagine, even trying to envision the splendor of what God has prepared for us.
9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." (1st Corinthians 2:9-10)
But note in one passage, God tells us to shut our doors, and Jesus tells that we will come to Him, to be where He is, not coming to where we are. Question. Where is Jesus right now? Of course, the answer is at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus said He would come again, to RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF. Note that He will do the receiving. We will not receive Him, but He will receive us.
THE TWO COMINGS OF OUR LORD FOR AND WITH THE CHURCH
The Bible speaks of two comings, that many people cannot see, even written right in front their eyes, or they have not read the Bible at all, but take the word of others who convince them of this error.
As spoken of, many people have tried to pinpoint the time of the return of Jesus for 2000 years, and on a Christian forum that I host, I have had people proclaim that no one knows the hour of the Lord's return and use it as a reason to scoff that Jesus is not coming anytime soon. And though that is true that we don't know the exact timing of His return, we have been given many clues that point to the season of His return, not for judgment, but for removal of His chosen people, the Bride of Christ. So what are those verses that speak of the return of Jesus, most likely sooner than anyone of this world even thinks?
One of the most quoted passage of verses that points to the coming of our Lord is found in 1st Corinthians:
50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"(1st Corinthians 15-50-55)
This is Jesus coming for His church, and then later in Revelation chp. 19, He proclaims that He will come to rule and reign and the saints are with Him, clothed in linen, white and clean, a sign of the saints.
Note verse 52 in 1st Corinthians? In the twinkling of an eye at the last trump. Many people make an error, because they have a preconceived notion of a post Tribulation return of Jesus Christ to rule and reign for 1000 years and the 7th angel blowing his trumpet, and don't take the historical aspect that many Jewish people understand, but those who misunderstand are ignorant of Jewish terminology, because they don't believe that the Feasts of the Lord is still in effect for us today. What is the term that points to a Feast of the Lord quoted above? And note that the 7th angel of Revelation is not the same trumpet blown in this passage. Why? One produces joy, the other indescribable horror of the 7th angel's trumpet. They are NOT the same trumpet Paul and John describe.
THE COMING FEAST OF TRUMPETS
In Jewish life, since the giving of God's Law to the Hebrew people at Mt. Sinai, God also gave them appointed times in their calendar that would proclaim markers, or Holy Convocations that they were to observe. Even they did not understand, as it was for us, not for them but they observed in the letter, but we look at it in the spiritual sense of "God's Plan for Mankind" the salvation of humanity based on God's appointed times. If you follow, or have in the past, any of my messages, you know that there are four Feast unto the Lord in the Spring, and three in the fall. We have established in the past sermons that Jesus fulfilled each of the Spring Feast days, called Holy Days on the exact day of their observance. Let me recap what those days were completed by Jesus and then we'll look at what He will complete in the near future.
The four Holy Days, or Feast days that were fulfilled by Christ in the Spring were:
Passover- Jesus became our Passover Lamb and was slain on the exact day of its observance.
Feast of Unleavened Bread-Christ was slain outside the camp and was buried along with our sins that He took upon Himself.
Feast of First Fruits-on the Sunday after Passover, the priest would wave a barley sheaf before the Lord in the Temple, as being the first fruits of their harvest. At the exact same time, Jesus was before God our Father, and became the first fruits of them born of the dead and completed payment in His own blood for the remission of the sins of the world and those who believe on His Name.
Feast of Pentecost-on the exact day, the Holy Spirit came to those in the upper room and the church was born.
Now for 2000 years or this Church Age, people have been looking for the return of Jesus, even the apostles thought He would return in their lifetime. But here we are, and each generation has thought Jesus was coming for them in their lifetime, and they have been wrong. Why? They lacked ONE ingredient to start the countdown of the final week of Daniel's 70 week prophecy. That ingredient that started the countdown for the return of Jesus was the founding of Israel again, as a nation.
"Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. " (Isaiah 66:8)
But that is exactly what happened. In May, 1948, the one thing lacking in the return of Jesus Christ in prior generations was put into place. Israel became a nation again, after 2000 years of desolation of the land, and the scattering of the people of Israel to the four winds. Israel was REBORN. Why do I say Israel is a sign that was lacking in past generations? Let us quote what Jesus said concerning the budding of the fig tree.
32 "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:32-36)
Some say, how can we know that Jesus is close at hand for the coming for His Church? Note that Jesus said that this generation. MY GENERATION, of those born during or right after the forming of Israel as a nation will not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Let us review what a generation is, as Jesus spoke of.
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. " (Psalms 90:10)
God has been shortening the lifespan of mankind down from nearly a 1000 years in Adam and Eve's time, to just 70-80 years in our modern time. Knowing that no man knows the exact day or hour, but we can know the season, as Jesus said, this generation will not pass till all things be fulfilled...what will be fulfilled? Jesus will be on this earth reigning and ruling for a 1000 years. All rebellion will be destroyed and the earth will be returned to the time of the Garden of Eden...
But let us observe one thing, if this generation born right after 1948 lives the outside of 80 years, that is 2028, which is 11 years from now. BUT..there is that word, but if we believe that we will not be on earth for that last 7 years of tribulation, then the number is 2021 approximately, not trying to pinpoint a date, but knowing the season is close, very close at hand. That is four years from this day you are reading this message.
The next Feast day that Jesus, I believe will fulfill, on the exact days of its observance by Israel, and the Christian who understands their significance, is the Feast of Trumpets...some call the "Return of the King" and what Israel calls "No man knoweth the day or the hour"...coincidence? God is not about coincidences. Could Jesus come in the near future on a Feast of Trumpets? We watch and pray, and believe you me, I will have a trained ear listening for the sound of a trumpet this coming fall, and every fall there after till this Feast is fulfilled.
THE COMING TRIBULATION IS UPON US
But as I read rapture verses in your Bible, I am confident, and I am full of the Hope of Jesus Christ, that I'll not see one day of that coming Tribulation...oh, we will see tribulation in this life, but when I say the coming Tribulation, I'm talking about GOD"S WRATH. Many say they don't know when God's wrath will begin, but reading Revelation chp. 6, the 1st seal that Jesus opens unleashes the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The first rider on a white horse is none other than the Anti-Christ who is revealed holding a bow but no arrows, meaning he conquers by deceit and lies. As you read this chapter, the nations know who is bringing this calamity upon them, and they know they will not escape.
15. "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16, And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17, For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? " (Revelation 6:15-17)
Jesus is using men to enact His judgment, much as He used men to bring judgment to Israel by Babylon, and Assyria. Jesus is causing events to come to pass, as each seal is broken. He is in control of making the earth ready for its redemption, that He has already bought with His own blood on the cross of Calvary. And after chp. 6 of this apocalyptic book, Divine judgment is enacted that no man can misunderstand.
So why am I full of Hope, and confidence that I will not see one day of this awful time? Because Jesus my Lord told Paul the Apostle, and John the Beloved a promise to each of them and to us:
4 "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."(1st Thessalonians 5:4-10)
And the glorified Jesus, the Son of God told John the Beloved Apostle when He appeared to him: and spoke of what we can hold onto with both hands and know that Jesus will NOT send His bride through the horrors of the wrath of God that will cover the whole earth.
10 "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Revelation 3:10-13)
Note we are NOT appointed to God's wrath, and Jesus will keep us from the hour of temptation that shall try this whole earth. That is a promise from my Savior, and I pray your Savior.
So let's recap the nuggets that I am sharing with you. We are in the time of the end of days, the season of the return of Jesus Christ, in our generation since Israel was made a nation again.
We are bumping up to the end of a generation since Israel was made a nation 70 years ago, next year.
The Tribulation starts when the saints of God are taken out "by force" and snatched away from this earth. When? At some future Feast of Trumpets, as No man Knoweth the day or the Hour. A term for this day. But He could come at any time, this would just be another Feast fulfilled, that I believe God is a God of order and He changes not.
We are not appointed to wrath, but receive salvation from our Lord, but the earth will be purged of all rebellion and destruction will cover the earth and the dwellers who inhabit its land.
Note as I have mentioned in past messages, that the Tribulation is designed by God for two things, and that is the redemption of Israel through much Tribulation, that is why it is called "Jacob's Trouble" and the nations who have rebelled against God will be destroyed who do not accept Jesus as Savior during this time, from witnessing from the 144,000 Jewish Evangelist, the Two Witnesses at the Temple, and the angel who flies overhead proclaiming the Gospel.
WILL YOU BE READY?
If Jesus would actually come this fall, would you be ready to receive the glorified body that He has planned for those who have accepted His free gift of grace and mercy through God our Father? Or would you be in darkness and not imagine that your world just got more dangerous than at any other time in history? Note I am not making any predictions of the day, but stating clearly and unequivocally, that Jesus return is close, right at the door. We don't know the exact day or hour, so it's pointless to try and nail it down. BUT we know the season, and by all signs in the heavens, on the earth, and events of evil men and the forming right now of a One World Government just waiting for the green light to have a spokesman usher in the New World Order and the revealing of the Anti-Christ, that God said I will not see, that the Holy Spirit will be taken out along with those He indwells, and then the wicked One will be revealed...not before we are gone.
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:" 2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)
Will you still be here, and in total resignation of your fate of enduring the tribulation. Or will you be those who have no clue, and have pleasure in their unrighteousness? Don't be counted among these have little hope of being in heaven. Many will be saved during this time, yes, but also, many will die for the truth of God's salvation found in Jesus Christ. Many will be deluded with lies and false doctrines of devils, or many will just not care, as they think it's party time. Party is will not be, but hell on earth for all who inhabit the nations.
As for me, and those like me, who have found redemption through Jesus Christ our Lord, I will be at a feast in heaven, called the "marriage supper of the Lamb"...I will live for eternity in the glorious light of my God and do His will, whatever He has in store for those who love Him...
What about you? Will you be with me, or will you be cast away into outer darkeness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the worm dieth not or is consumed? I pray you will not let that happen but embrace these next verses and confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior..
8 " But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:8-11, my emphasis)
And the three verses that brought a 10 year old boy, to the realization that he needed a Savior..ME...
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)
Make Jesus the Lord of your life today, while the time is there for you to make that decision in freedom of conscience and not in Tribulation, if at all.
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying you will receive Jesus right now, and have confidence in the coming rapture...if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
US aircraft carrier off Israel's coast symbol of freedom, Netanyahu says - By Anna Ahronheim -
Netanyahu visits floating US war machine leading fight against ISIS.
It leads the United States' war against ISIS and with 75 aircraft on its deck has the ability to carry out numerous combat sorties a day. On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the USS George H. W. Bush docked opposite the Haifa Port and became the first sitting head of state to visit America's largest and most lethal floating war machine.
The docking of the ship on Saturday marked the first time an aircraft carrier visited Israel in 17 years.
"The visit of the USS George H.W. Bush speaks to the enduring commitment to our shared interests and a commitment to fight against our common enemies," Commanding Officer Capt. Will Pennington told reporters during a visit to the ship. According to a statement by the US European Command, the ship's visit is meant "to enhance US-Israel relations as the two nations reaffirm their continued commitment to the collective security of the European and Middle East Regions."
According to Pennington, the crew is constantly engaged in cooperation with Israel, including sharing intelligence.
"There is a tremendous network of shared intelligence. As you are aware the airspace in the region is very, very, busy with lots of different actors so the need to deconflict that and make sure that everyone understands their missions is very important," he said.
Visiting the ship with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Netanyahu recalled his visit to another aircraft carrier 20 years ago.
"So much has changed since the first time I visited...our ties have gotten stronger and deeper," he said. "It is a floating island of America. It is a symbol of freedom and strength and victory."
The USS George H.W. Bush was in the region to participate in the fight against ISIS, carrying out its last operational mission on June 30. With 20-25 sorties per day, aircraft aboard the ship have carried out 1,600 sorties over both Syria and Iraq, striking targets in Mosul and in the vicinity of Raqqa on missions that can last seven to nine hours.
The targets which are directed by the coalition ground commander, are sometimes known prior to take-off and pilots have sometimes also received targets while in the air.
According to Carrier Air Wing 8 Captain James A. McCall, one of the real-time targets was the Syrian jet that was downed on June 18 in southern Raqqa province by one of the jets stationed on the aircraft carrier.
"The jet came within visual distance" McCall said, stating that US jets "warned the Syrian aircraft that they were approaching coalition friendlies. They (the Syrian regime jet) ignored the warning and even dropped bombs on the friendlies," he said referring to the Syrian Democratic Force who are supported by the coalition.
Towards the end of its seven-month deployment, the USS George H.W. Bush arrived in Haifa after a 40 day voyage from Dubai.
While the ship will not be taking part in any joint exercises with the Israeli Navy, Israel provided security as it pulled into the Haifa Bay allowing the ship's strike group to continue to other missions and port calls.
"We are very tightly linked with our colleagues and partners and allies from the IDF and have been for very many years," Pennington said.
Speaking at a ceremony aboard the carrier, Admiral Michelle J. Howard, commander of the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa, stated that the visit marks "a special moment" between Israel and the United States which "has had long standing military to military engagements with Israel."
"In this visit to Israel, the ship's might is a metaphor for the strength of the bonds between our countries. I'd like to thank the Israeli people for hosting us and for taking care of our Sailors," she added.
Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, who visited the ship on Sunday stated that it was "a timely show of American power projection and deterrence capability."
"Its support for the countries fighting Islamic extremism and terror and Iran is very important, especially now when Iran is working to create facts on the ground in Syria, including a port on the Mediterranean, and Hezbollah continues to build its arsenal with more advanced and precise missiles."
Who Is the Bush carrier meant to deter? Not Iran -
The arrival of USS George H.W. Bush on Saturday, July 1, for the first visit a US aircraft carrier has paid to Israel in nearly two decades is a happy event for the Jewish state. The 5.700-strong crew of the biggest nuclear-powered vessel in the world will be given a joyous welcome when they celebrate America's Independence Day on July 4.
But amid the comings and goings of helicopters ferrying official VIPs and high officers between the port of Haifa and the decks of the Bush, one question remains unanswered. Why was this mighty ship, with its more than 80 warplanes and cruise missiles, deployed to the eastern Mediterranean at this time? And which bad guy is it meant to deter?
Russia is certainly not in US sights, or even the air force and naval units it has posted to Syria. Washington and Moscow are not seemingly poised for a direct confrontation over Syria and its ruler Bashar Assad. Since no showdown occurred in the two years since the Russians stepped up their military intervention in September 2015, it won't be staged days before President Donald Trump's first face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 in Hamburg, Germany.
Assad can therefore rest quietly; he is out of danger for the foreseeable future. Even the new French President, Emmanuel Macron admitted on June 22: "France is no longer pushing for the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad."
Washington and Moscow will no doubt have their ups and downs over military moves in Syria while carving up their spheres of influence, but Putin appears to have got away with his strategy for stabilizing the Assad regime and its future, while setting up a chain of Russian air and naval bases on the western Syrian Mediterranean coast.
Propped up by Russian air might, the regime in Damascus is additionally secured by Iran and Hizballah.
However, unlike the Russians, their presence in Syria directly imperils Israel's national security.
When Trump entered the White House in January, he and his aides doubled down on two vows, which were to tear up the bad nuclear deal with Tehran, and boot Iran and Hizballah out of Syria. Those steps aimed at stripping Iran of the leading Middle East power status conferred on the Islamic Republic by Barack Obama; curtail its aggressive expansionism; and snatch away from Tehran the prize of a direct land bridge to the Mediterranean via Iraq and Syria.
Just two months ago, when President Trump visited Riyadh and performed his sword dance with Saudi King Salman, he repeated those vows to provide the platform for a new US-Arab Sunni pact. For a brief moment, Trump appeared to have come up with America's answer to Putin's Shiite Iranian-dominated bloc.
But this week, the Riyadh plan had clearly been set aside..
The US armed forces journal Stars and Stripes commented in its June 29 issue:
"President Donald Trump decided against killing off the Iran nuclear deal in a Day One spectacular. It may face a lingering death instead."
No Middle East watcher sees any sign of this happening; just the reverse. Even if Washington did walk out of the nuclear pact, it would make no difference, since, in recent months, the Iranians have fast forwarded the development of their nuclear and missile programs. They sent blunt notice of their stance last month when they fired seven ballistic surface missiles from western Iran into eastern Syria.
Not a peep came out of the Trump administration at the time. And no one stopped Tehran following up with rapid one-two steps designed by Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani - and carried forward by Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian forces - to seize control of large parts of the Syrian-Iraqi border and open up their coveted land bridge.
This Iranian-Syrian offensive had two consequences:
1. The Iranian and allied military moves in eastern Syria hemmed in and cut off the US special forces which had set up a garrison in the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle.
2. While Moscow never declared its support for the Iranian-initiated move on the border, the Russians secretly helped it by supplying intelligence and logistical assistance.
On this too, Washington chose to hold its collective tongue.
On Thursday, June 29, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu solemnly stated in Katzrin, at an anniversary celebration of the Golan town, that he would never permit Iranian forces to reach Israel's border.
However, as he spoke, the Syrian army and rebel forces were locked in fierce battle just 3 kilometers away from the speaker for control of the village of Al-Baath in the Quneitra district. Netanyahu never let on that Iran had set up its military headquarters for southern Syria at Al-Baath under the command of Gen. Soleimani. Neither did he mention that Soleimani's plan was to replicate Iran's grab for the Syrian-Iraqi border by similar attacks on Syria's borders with Jordan and Israel.
The fact is that the Iranians have already arrived and are sitting on Israel's border. But the prime minister, like the US president, chooses to turn a blind eye to this rapidly advancing reality.
New Saudi Royal Appointment Appears to Correspond with Prophecy - By Yehezkel Laing -
The king's heart is in the hand of Hashem as the watercourses: He turneth it whithersoever He will. Proverbs 21:1 (The Israel Bible™)
Last week, the reigning Saudi monarch replaced one crown prince with another, dividing the fragmented world of Islam even further, increasing the tensions between Sunni Islam and Shiites. The shifting reality in the Middle East has political analysts in a quandary, but this very development was predicted explicitly in an ancient Jewish source, and one rabbi, an expert in end-of-days prophecy, explained that this global shift in politics is returning the world to a more Biblical framework.
A drama unfolded in Saudi Arabia last Wednesday as Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud named his son, Mohammed bin Salman, 31, to be his successor to the throne. The move is contentious, creating conflict in the upper echelons of Saudi royalty. In order to make the appointment, King Salman had to remove the current crown prince, Mohammed Ben Naif, from the position. Ben Naif, the king's cousin,was barred from leaving the kingdom and confined to his palace in the coastal city of Jidda in order to prevent any conspiring or infighting.
Prince Mohammed is currently the kingdom's Defense Minister and is a regional leader in the Sunni opposition to Iran. Prince Mohammed has united most of the Sunni countries in an alliance to oppose the burgeoning strength of the Shiite nations - led by Iran. The two groups, Sunni and Shiite, are fighting via proxy forces in a number of Arab countries, including Syria and Yemen.
In his role as Defense Minister, Mohammed bin Salman classified the Shiite Hezbollah group as a terror organization, led the move to isolate Qatar for its increasing cooperation with Iran, and signed a massive arms deal with the US for $100 million in new military hardware. Mohammed bin Salman is also reported to enjoy close ties with Israeli defense officials.
This royal reshuffling has political pundits scratching their heads, though the implications are dire. American President Donald Trump is currently building a coalition to oppose Iran, and Saudi Arabia is expected to fulfill a leading role in it, though now, it is unclear how the new Saudi king fits in, or how the other Muslim nations, friend and foe, will react.
The surprising appointment of Mohammed as the successor to the throne conforms to the sequence of events predicted in the Yalkut Shimoni, a compilation of rabbinic commentary on the Bible, is believed to have been composed in the 13th century. In the section dealing with the Book of Isaiah, the following passage appears:
"Rabbi Yitzchak said: 'In the year in which the Messiah-King appears, all the nations of the world are provoking each other. The King of Persia (Iran) provokes an Arab king and the Arab king turns to Aram for advice. And the King of Persia (Iran) goes back and destroys the entire world. And all the nations of the world are in panic and distress and they fall upon their faces and are seized with pains like those of a woman giving birth, and Israel are in panic and distress and asking 'where shall we go? Where shall we go?,' and He says to them 'my sons, do not fear; all that I have done, I have done only for you. Why are you afraid? Do not fear, your time of redemption has come, and the final redemption is not like the first redemption, because the first redemption was followed by sorrow and servitude under other kingdoms, but the final redemption is not followed by sorrow and servitude under other kingdoms."
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, prolific author and End-of-Days scholar, explained that in the context of this prophecy, Iran could indeed be identified as its previous incarnation: the nation of Persia. The Arab king referred to in the text could be the king of Saudi Arabia, present or future. But the identity of Aram is much more problematic.
"Geographically, Aram was Babylonia, known today as Iraq," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "But it doesn't necessarily come down to that. When the Bible uses these national names, it is identifying them also by their characteristics, their soul-natures."
Rabbi Winston said that it is important to step back and see the prophecy in context of the larger picture.
"What the prophecy is telling us on a basic level is that when these specific things happen, it means that things are moving," the rabbi said. "You should be looking for something significant, something stunning and earthshaking,that will happen in ways that don't make sense unless you see it in a divine light."
Rabbi Winston stated unequivocally that current events lead to one conclusion: the world has reverted to a Biblical reality in which prophecy is more relevant than ever before.
"In the times of the Bible, even the evil people believed in God, but then the world entered a period of hester panim (the hiding of God's face)," the rabbi explained. "It became possible to not believe in God. We are returning to the Biblical framework, when current events become similar to events in the Bible, because God is again revealing himself."
Unlike political analysts who are unsure where current events are leading, the rabbi seemed clear.
"When you can start reading history and current events back into the Bible, that is in itself a sign that we are in the times of the Moshiach (Messiah)," he said. " At this point, it looks like this has nothing to do with Israel, but as we know, in the end-of days it all comes down to Israel."
Some Thoughts on Matthew 24 - By Daymond Duck -
I know many people will disagree with me, but here is what I believe.
As Jesus and His disciples were leaving the Temple, His disciples pointed out the buildings. Jesus said, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
They went out to the mount of Olives and asked three questions (Matt:24:1-3):
"When shall these things be?"
"What shall be the sign of thy coming?"
"And of the end of the world (or age)?"
Question #1: When shall these things be?
Keep in mind that Jesus is talking to Jews and there was no church at that time.
Jesus mentioned false Christs and wars and rumors of wars and He added, "but the end is not yet." He mentioned famines, pestilences and earthquakes and He added, "All these are the beginning of sorrows (birth pains)" (Matt. 24:4-8).
All of these things are plural meaning there will be many false Christs and many wars before the end. There will be many famines, many pestilences and many earthquakes before the Second Coming and the end of the age. These things are just the beginning of the birth pains.
For whatever it is worth, Dr. J. Vernon McGee taught that the first eight verses of Matthew 24 are about the Church Age (Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Volume IV, Matthew-Romans, pg. 126). The Church Age must run its course before the end of the age.
Question #2: What shall be the sign of thy coming?
Jesus' Second Coming is at the end of the Tribulation period. The Church is not on earth. The Church comes out of heaven with Him (Rev. 19:1-16). So, starting at Matt. 24:9 Jesus is talking about those on earth (Israel and others) during the Tribulation period and the Church will no longer be on earth.
Jesus said they (Israel and others) will face persecution, martyrdom, betrayal, false prophets, deceit, iniquity (lawlessness or corrupt government) and cold hearts. He added, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Matt. 24:9-13). All Israel will be saved at the end of the Tribulation period (Zech. 12:10-14; 14:1-11).
He said the gospel will go all over the world "and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). The preaching of the 144,000 Jewish servants of God, the Two Witnesses and an angel will fulfill this during the Tribulation period (Rev. 7; 11 and 14:6).
He said the abomination of desolation will stand in the holy place (Matt. 24:15). This will happen at the Temple in Israel at the middle of the Tribulation period (Dan. 9:27).
He said, "Then, let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains" (Matt. 24:17).
Judaea is the West Bank in Israel. This is another event that will happen in Israel at the middle of the Tribulation period (Rev. 12:13-14)
He told those who flee to not try to take anything with them and to pray that they don't have to flee on the sabbath day (Matt. 24:17-20). Why? Because Israel will be back under the Law, offering animal sacrifices, etc., and they will be limited to how much they can carry and how far they can walk on the sabbath.
He said, "then shall be great tribulation." That is the last half of the Tribulation period, Satan will be on earth and he will hate and kill Jews (Rev. 12:15-17).
Jesus mentions the "elect" three times (Matt. 24:22, 24, 31). There is no doubt that the word "elect" refers to the Church in many verses of Scripture. But here Jesus is talking to Jews about Jews under the Law during the Tribulation period after the Rapture of the Church. Understand that the word "elect" can also refer to Israel. God called Israel the "elect" (Isa. 45:4; 65:9, 22).
God doesn't change. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom. 11:29). He has not forsaken Israel (Rom. 11:25-26; Heb. 13:8). He also called both Old Testament and New Testament Jews "saints" (Psa. 79:1-2; Matt. 27:52; Rev. 17:6). The words "elect" and "saints" can refer to Israel or the Church. In Matt. 24, Jesus keeps talking about Israel, but He never mentions or uses the word "Church."
He said His coming will be like lightning coming out of the east (Matt. 24:27). He was still talking about His coming at the end of the Tribulation period.
He said, "Whersoever the carcase is there will the eagles be gathered" (Matt. 24:28). This is a Jewish proverb about Palestinian eagles (vultures) gathering for a feast at the battle of Armageddon in Israel when Jesus comes back at the end of the Tribulation period (Rev. 19:17-18).
He talked about cataclysmic events that will happen immediately after the tribulation of those days (Matt. 24:29-31). The sun will dim, the moon won't shine, stars will fall, the universe will shake and people will see Jesus coming in the clouds.
He talked about the fig tree and that is Israel (Matt. 24:32-34; Hos.9:10; Jer. 24:1-10).
He talked about the generation that sees all these things and all of it happening in one generation (Matt. 24:33-34). The Church won't be on earth to see the Antichrist defile the Temple, but Israel will (II Thess. 2:1-12).
Question #3: What shall be the sign of the end of the world (or age)?
Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35). He added, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36).
No one knows the day or the hour of the Rapture or the Second Coming (Matt. 24:42), but in Matt. 24:36, Jesus was saying no one knows the day or the hour that heaven and earth (the world) will pass away.
To bring this to a close, this writer believes most of Matt. 24 is about Israel and the Tribulation period not the Rapture, or the Church or the Church Age. Jesus answered the three questions that He was asked including the one about the end of the world (or age).
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries
- Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
On last week's program, I reported about Senator Bernie Sanders' recent contention that anyone who esteems his own religious faith above anyone else's is not fit to hold high office in the United States. In fact, he commented that those types of people are not what America is about.
Senator Sanders is either ignorant or arrogant. Neither quality is desirable. What's worse -- and I suspect this would describe Senator Sanders -- is to be arrogantly ignorant.
As I noted last week, Senator Sanders apparently believes that only those who firmly believe nothing are qualified to hold high public office. Perhaps that is why he feels he should have been President.
This is why I decided that it's time for a little refresher course about what makes the United States of America so unique and irreplaceable.
Our nation exists today because her founders recognized their dependence on God and acknowledged it in the foundation and framework of this magnificent house we call the United States of America. We dismiss that recognition at our peril.
The United States of America is the world's only superpower. Its economy is the engine that drives the world. Even in our difficult times, it is still the cornerstone on which the global economy rests.
Twice in one century, the United States saved Europe, and the rest of the world, from the domination of tyrants. Later, America drove the Soviet Empire into the ground and, in so doing, secured freedom for untold millions of citizens and scores of nations.
It is undeniable that, to this day, America remains the last, best hope of the world's oppressed.
Yet the United States of America exists in the shadow of an uncertainty. Have you ever thought about the fact that even our National Anthem acknowledges that it is possible to forfeit or lose the magnificent heritage that is the United States of America? When Francis Scott Key penned the words to The Star Spangled Banner, he ended the first verse (which is the one customarily performed as our nation's official anthem) with a question: "O' say does that star spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
Whether he was being prophetic or simply poetic is not important. His inclusion of that question rightly implies that America's great freedom and promise cannot be taken for granted. It came into existence through the great courage and sacrifice of our forebears. It can fade from existence through the antipathy and apathy of its current and future citizens.
That's why so many of our Founding Fathers found it imperative to insist that the form of government they established can only prosper if the citizenry is predominantly Judeo-Christian. They minced no words when they proclaimed that our democracy can only succeed if it remains founded on the principles of Christianity and respectful of its Judeo-Christian roots.
Yet, today as no time in our history, those very roots and principles are under ferocious attack. It's as if major players in our society have hoisted their axes, determined to chop away at the roots of our democracy until the magnificent tree of American freedom shivers and falls.
That's why there is no time to lose. As Christians and patriots, we must seek God's mercy for our faltering nation. The forces of darkness have succeeded in marshaling their greatest assault yet. And the speed with which recent changes have weakened the basic foundations of our society is nothing compared to what we may see in the coming years. If we are to see our nation saved, we must earnestly call out to God, repent of our sins as a nation, and humble ourselves before Him.
As we languish in the summer doldrums, pray earnestly every day for our beloved nation. Pray that truth will be revealed. Pray that blinders will be removed. Pray that God will exalt Himself through the testimony of His people. And pray that He will watch over and protect this "shining city on a hill" that truly owes its success and glory to His precepts.
America celebrates its independence in a few days. Join me as I pose this most critical question: "Does the Flag Still Wave?"
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
I want to wish all of you a "Happy Independence Day!" Remember, amid the fun and festivities take time to reflect on this precious gift that God has given us and our world: The United States of America! And take time to thank God for the men and women who gave their all to buy our freedom and to keep it. May God bless you and your family and may God always bless America!
Daily Jot: America's independence, your freedom and destiny
- Bill Wilson -
As we commemorate the day of our Independence from Britain, it may be helpful to be reminded of the sufferance of the Founding Fathers and what was going through their minds as they decided to take on the most powerful political and military force on the planet. They said, "A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people." What happens when that "Prince" collectively becomes the Supreme Court, the Congress and the Executive Branch working in concert with one another toward a world order foreign and detrimental to the people they are charged with representing and to the Constitution they vowed to uphold? What are citizens to do?
The Declaration of Independence is a masterful document that served as the true "preamble" to our Constitution. It begins by saying: "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
"--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government." The signatures of 56 men were written on the Declaration after this sentence: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
In other words, they risked everything. They counted the cost. They understood the will of God. They acted. This Independence Day, please take time to remind yourself and others about the sufferance of those who made such a pledge on their Lives, Fortunes, and sacred Honor. Please contemplate our national condition. Please seek God. For as Peter and the disciples said in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men." And recall the words of James 1:25, "But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." The body without spirit is dead, faith without works is also dead. Please consider your destiny.
Daily Devotion: Signs of the Last Days
- By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
"But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."
The font most newspapers use for astounding events is called Second Coming type. These large block letters have announced the surrender of Germany and Japan in World War II and the assassination of President Kennedy. And one of these days, newspapers will use it for what it was meant for: the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Though we might not have that banner headline on our front pages quite yet, there are certainly many signs of the times. It's interesting to take an open Bible and an open newspaper or website and look at how so many Bible prophecies are literally being fulfilled before our eyes.
Jesus said the climate of the time prior to His return would be similar to the climate during Noah's life. In Noah's day, two sins were predominant: excessive violence and sexual perversion. Genesis 6:5, speaking of that time, says, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
The Bible also tells us, "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark" (Matthew 24:38). We could paraphrase that statement by saying it was business as usual.
Noah was building a massive boat, and no doubt the people thought of him as some sort of a crackpot. And in the same way, people in the last days will ignore the prophetic warnings. The writing is on the wall for anyone who will pay attention. Yet Jesus said it largely will be business as usual.
Noah was mocked. And as followers of Jesus, we will continue to be mocked as well. That, too, is a sign of the last days.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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